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Old 12-07-2009, 07:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New automotive emissions standards

In the eco-issue of Auto Motor i Sport I found an article on the new emissions standards that will come into effect in Europe within the next few years.

The European Union is at war with carbon dioxide emissions, and one of the battles is with the automotive industry. The new laws say that by 2012 65% of all new cars cannot produce more than an average of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer, by 2013 this will be 75%, and 80% in 2014. In 2015 all new cars must have an average of 130 g/km. If they don't, the producer will pay large fees: If the CO2 emissions are 1 gram over the limit the fee is 5 Euros per car, 2g - 15Euros, 3g - 25Euros. For 4g and above the fee is 95Euros for every gram. The exact norm depends on vehicle weight (130g/km is for 1300kg, for 1100kg it's 120g/km and for 1500kg it's 140g/km), while "ecological" technologies (like LEDs and CO2-neutral A/C fillers) will reward the manufacturer a bonus of 7g for all cars.

The 2008 average for EU was 160g/km.

Even though air pollution is a global problem, there still are no universal emissions norms for all countries. An extreme example is the US, where two institutions, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA and the California Air Resources Board CARB, have two different emissions standards. Since the US is aiming at ozone-hole reduction, the emissions standards are targeting mainly hydrocarbons and NOx. Fuel consumption, which is proportional to CO2 emissions, seems to be of lesser importance. The American norms for CO2 are the same for both petrol and diesel engines, and aren't a problem for any EURO4 diesel. On the other hand, nitrogen oxide limits in the US and Japan don't give diesels a chance unless they have expensive catalitic converters.

The European norms are becoming more widespread: more or less advanced versions are now standard in many Asian, Pacific and South American countries.

Below is a table I scanned from the article. It shows NOx and particulate matter limits in Europe, US and Japan.
NOTE European and Japanese norms are in grams per kilometer, while American are in grams per mile.

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